Any other year the professional debut of Johnny Manziel–aka Johnny Football–in a Cleveland Browns uniform would be the biggest news in Cleveland sports. Manziel took his first snaps for the Browns last night in a preseason loss to the Detroit Lions in Detroit. The controversial and always exciting former Texas A&M Heisman Trophy winner threw 11 passes, completing seven for 63 yards. He added 27 yards rushing on six carries.
Any other year Manziel would also be the best athlete in town. He showcased his athletic ability in his debut, running for a first down and firing some terrific on-the-money strong arm passes. Unfortunately–or perhaps a stroke of excellent fortune?–Manziel isn’t the biggest news or the best athlete in Cleveland thanks to LeBron James’ ballyhooed return to the NBA’s Cavaliers. But Manziel is a better athlete than current Browns starting QB Brian Hoyer–and by the time the NBA season gets started Manziel may yet be the biggest news in a sports town hungry for success. Johnny Football mania should get its legitimate start next week, when instead of entering in the second quarter, Manziel is expected to start preseason game 2.